HOMER A. BECHTEL, 84, of 306 E. 2nd Street, Williamsburg, Penna. died May 24 at Blue Ridge Haven West Nursing Home, Camp Hill, Pa. He was a member of Pa. State Grange, Williams Grove Steam Engine Association, Allegheny Mountaineers Steam & Threshers, Rough & Tumble Engineers Historical Association, Morrison's Cove Pioneer Steam Show. Homer loved a steam engine having run one at the age of 14 for his fathers threshing rig and sawmill. He was a trustworthy engineer, having run my 50 HP Peerless at the steam shows. We bunked together in the R.R. cabin at Williams Grove. He will be greatly missed by all his buddies. We can be sure he has gone to pull that golden throttle in a better land free from all the worries and cares. He who paints the sunset, called Homer to a home beyond the sunset.
Submitted by Arthur F. Harker, 300 Bella Street, Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania 16648
GEORGE CULVER, Lyndon, Kansas died May 2, 1972, age 69. He grew up on a farm and with his brothers operated a thrashing machine as well as other farm machinery. He later worked for the Township Board. He owned and operated a model steam engine and was a member of the Antique Steam Engine and Model Assn. He was generous in giving of his time to display and operate his model for parades, picnics and fairs throughout the state. He attended many 'Thrashing Bees', and many young people have a better understanding and appreciation of the advances by which the wheat farmer has come from the antiquated steam engine to the modern labor-saving harvesters of today, because someone took time to 'show and tell'.
Submitted by his sister, Dorothy Culver of Lyndon, Kansas.
WARD RENNIE, 71, of Montezuma died recently in Frizzell Memorial Hospital at Ransom. Mr. Rennie was a farmer who had retired from this work about a year ago. Ward's grandfather began threshing with horses and turntable in southeast Illinois and was one of the first to buy a steam engine. Ward attended all the steam shows he could and only last year went to Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, One year he was at the controls of Ernest Bresslers engine at the Bird City, Kansas Show. He was well known in steam circles.
Submitted by Helen Ward Rennie, Montezuma, Kansas 67867
TRUMAN KOOPMAN, 53, of Flanagan, Illinois died in May, 1974. He was owner and operator of an automotive garage here. He was a member of the Pontiac Thresherman's Assn. He will be missed by lots of people as he was very well known - a fine showman without being a show-off. He owned the prize undermounted Avery steamer. With it he pulled the Illinois Sesquicentennial float at Springfield a few years back. He always had a funny story or joke to tell. His passing will leave a vacuum never to be filled.
Submitted by Bruce Leach, 511 Oak Street, Plainfield, Illinois 60544.
VERVL V. MALONE, a retired farmer, passed away April 8, 1974 after a 4-1/2 month heart illness. He was 70. He was Past President of Richland County Steam Thresher Assn. and also a member of the Miami Valley Assn. All his life he had been interested in steam engines and was a long time subscriber to the Album. He owned a 1917- 50 HP Case engine, which is being kept by his widow and will be displayed and operated by his Sons-in-law, Dave Barnhart and Harold Noblet. He will be greatly missed by all.
Submitted by Donald Dell, President of Richland County Steam Threshers Assn. R.R. 2, Shelby, Ohio.
JOHN A. CUMMER, 68, of Route 1, Stoddard, Wisconsin died at his home April 17. He worked for the Vernon County Highway Department, then farmed for a number of years until retiring to his home near Stoddard. He was a veteran of World War II. John was a fine booster of his local Coulee Antique Engines Club and attended faithfully.
Submitted by Wilmer E. Homstad, Secretary, Coulee Antique Engines, Viroqua, Wisconsin 54667
LESLIE WAGER, age 69, of Leavenworth, Kansas died January 19,1974 after a long illness. He had lived his entire life in the same house where he was born. In 1958, he and Herman Watson of McLouth, Kansas were the founders of The Heart of America Antique Steam Engine and Model Assn. Leslie was president of this organization for thirteen years. Much of the success of our steam engine meetings and shows was due to his excellent leadership. He owned a Woods Brothers 18 HP engine and also a model traction engine. He will be greatly missed by his family and many friends.
Submitted by Haston L. St. Clair, R.R. 1, Box 140A, Holden, Missouri 64040
JAMES CONRAD, SR. of Route 1, Waterloo, Indiana died in May 1974. He was 81. Conrad was a lifetime resident of the rural Waterloo area and a retired farmer. He was well known to steam engineers in Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. At the time of his death, he owned a very nice Russell steam engine that he had bought from Percy Sherman a few years ago.
Submitted by Emery Vestal, Waterloo, Indiana 46793.
WILLIS WILCOX, 69, of Madisonville, Ky. passed away May 3rd after a long illness. He was the builder of a stationery steam engine and a 2 inch scale model Case traction engine. He won the Gold Hammer Award from Mechanics Illustrated for the latter. His picture with the engine is on page 26 of the July-August issue of The Album. Willy was a sign painter by trade and loved his work. Most people wait until your death to give you flowers but Willy gave them to you while still living. He was always doing something for someone. There's not a Church or Civic Organization in Madisonville that doesn't have some of his ideas and creations for which he would never take payment, always saying 'Let me worry about it'. He was a Deacon in the Christian Church, a Kentucky Colonel, and member of the Tenn-Ky Threshermen's Assn. He was very much loved and will be greatly missed by family and friends.
Submitted by Billy Byrd, 369 S. Harrig St., Madinsonville, Ky. 42431
J.A. MILLER of Russelville, Ky. passed away June 18th. He was Chairman of The Board of Directors of The Tenn.-Ky. Threshermen's Assn. He was an Iron-Man from away back. He bought and sold steam engines for many years, especially Keck-Gonnermans. When the Keck-Gonnerman Co., went out of business, he bought all their parts and patterns. Mr. Miller was a Christian gentleman and had the personality to get along with people, to see both sides of a question and get it brought to a solution that pleased everyone. He will be greatly missed by family and friends and especially the Tenn-Ky Threshermen's Assn. It will be hard to fill his shoes as Board Chairman.
Submitted by Billy Byrd, 369 S. Harrig St., Madisonville, Ky 42431
EMMITT P. LAIN, 68, of Atkinson, Illinois passed away on January 13, 1974. Emmitt will be remembered with his model steam engine at most of the midwest engine shows. He worked with steam for many years, threshing, sawing lumber, etc. After the steam era, he went into the house moving business, retiring only a few years ago.
Submitted by Lester L. Moos, 328 North State Street, Geneseo, Illinois 61254.